There's no debating that the Air Jordan 4 is one of the greatest models in Michael Jordan's entire signature line. The second masterpiece of the Air Jordan franchise by Tinker Hatfield, the Jordan 4 from 1989 successfully followed up one that was pretty hard to top, the Air Jordan 3. Perhaps the greatest one-two punch in sneaker design history, the Air Jordan 3 and Air Jordan 4 by Hatfield have their similarities, but the fourth Air Jordan definitely stands on its own as one of the most iconic basketball shoes of all time.
And this year we're all greatly anticipating the return of its most beloved look, the original "Bred" colorway, which is back on May 4th in its true from with "Nike Air" branding on the heel. It's the first time the "Bred" colorway returns with the OG branding since its first retro release in 1999 — 20 years ago! With less than a month until the comeback of the "Bred," we thought we'd take a look at a few of our current favorite Air Jordan 4 releases to get you primed for the big day in early May. Of course, you can't go wrong with any colorway for the design, but these six are the ones we're feeling most right now. You'll find everything from another iconic OG look, to historic collaborations, to a super clean women's exclusive. All are essential versions of the design during its first 30 years of existence. Here's to 30 more!
Next to the "Bred" colorway, there's no more iconic look for the Air Jordan 4 than this other original "White/Cement" version. Also first retroed in 1999, these beauties already returned again with the OG Nike branding in 2016. If the hype surrounding that 2016 release was any indication, the return of the "Breds" next month is going to be even more epic.
Of course, there have been many denim sneaker colorways throughout the years, but none like this. Setting the gold standard for denim-constructed footwear was this collaboration from Levi's and Jordan Brand for the Air Jordan 4 in 2018. The silhouette was covered in the iconic American denim brand's material inside and out. The perfect execution was completed with the Jumpman tongue tags in the style of the signature waist label, and the red tabs on the rear pocket from every pair of Levi's jeans was added to the midfoot. Also released later in white and black denim versions, this initial blue version is definitely the greatest.
The Air Jordan 4 borrows the classic original "Raptors" colorway from the Air Jordan 7, with outstanding results. This was rumored to originally be a Drake collaboration, but it dropped as a limited release without any affiliation to the Toronto rapper. The black nubuck construction with purple and bright red accents is definitely a hit, either way.
An Air Jordan 4 that's officially associated with one of the world's biggest rappers is Travis Scott's "Cactus Jack" edition from 2018. The unique color combination inspired by the Houston Oilers, the defunct NFL franchise from Scott's hometown, is quickly becoming one of the most iconic looks for the silhouette ever outside the OG colorways.
This women's exclusive Air Jordan 4 released for China's Singles Day holiday in November 2018. The vibrant red colorway with a gum rubber outsole is more than first meets the eye. The leather is actually painted red, and can be rubbed off to expose a floral print on the leather underneath.
World famous street and fine artist KAWS added "Jordan Brand collaborator" to his résumé in 2017 with this incredible edition of the Air Jordan 4 that's already cemented as one of the greatest versions of the silhouette ever. A work of art itself, the Jordan 4 by KAWS features grey suede covering the upper with his artwork tonally stitched in. His "XX" motif replaces the Jumpman (or Nike Air) branding on the heel, while a glow in the dark outsole adds the perfect final touch. It's hard to decide if you want to put a pair on your feet, or on display behind glass.